Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughThe joy of the press conference - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough The joy of the press conference - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

The joy of the press conference

Where would those football hacks be without the weekly manager’s press conference?

I was lucky enough to attend one of Chelsea’s press conferences when Carlo Ancelotti was at the helm, and it is a fantastic experience.

Unfortunately, though, you do get some journalists who ask banal and pointless questions but for the most part it is an arena where the manager can verbally joust with the press.

This is is a good thing as it makes the game more personable; the managers sometimes crack jokes or share a little ‘banter’ with those pesky football writers who so often are out to get a sensationalist story that will sell papers (or garner hits for a website).

Press conferences are a fantastic source for quotes, though, as anybody who has been to a Jose Mourinho press conference can most likely attest to.

They can be a fantastic spectacle, too, as displayed in Arsene Wenger’s pre Bayern Munich press conference where he didn’t take too kindly to being asked a question about signing a contract extension.

The atmosphere was so cagey and tense that you almost expected Wenger to jump over his table and start a ruckus with the journalists.

This example also highlights the problem of short-termism in football writing; writers looking for an easy angle or quote which will be spread across the back pages of the papers, sometimes taking it out of context.

Man City’s Roberto Mancini, too, is one manager that puts on a good show during his press conferences. Last week he proclaimed that he was ‘the best manager in England’ and even swore at a journalist who was looking for trouble when they questioned the Italian’s job security.

On the whole, though, press conferences work as a gateway for us mere mortals to get a little peek into the psyche of those complex characters we know as football managers.